Former champion Angelique Kerber prevailed in a three-set marathon over Sara Sorribes Tormo while Elina Svitolina became the latest high seed to fall early at Wimbledon on Thursday.
Among the winners, top seed Asheigh Barty and 17 year old Coco Gauff progressed on Centre Court.
Kerber, who beat Serena Williams in the 2018 final and won the Bad Homburg title last week, had match points in the second set but the Spaniard save them and forced a decider. The third set was a battle of survival as both players broke serve before the German came through after three hours and 18 minutes.
Top seed Barty produced a far from perfect performance in her 6-4, 6-3 win over Russia’s Anna Blinkova but she stayed on track at SW 19. The world No 1 was not at her best serving several double faults and making unforced errors regularly against a 22-year-old opponent who was far from over-awed by being on Centre Court or Barty’s top-ranked status.
Barty, though, having battled right arm and left hip injuries this year eventually prevailed, breaking Blinkova’s serve to take the match.
The Australian, who has never got further than the fourth round at Wimbledon, plays Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic next.
Barty is seeded to meet this year’s French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in the last 16. Krejcikova brushed aside second round opponent German veteran Andrea Petkovic 7-5, 6-4.
Ukrainian Svitolina – a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2019 – lost 6-3, 6-4 to Poland’s Magda Linette in their second round match. Linette moves into the third round for the second successive Championships and plays Wimbledon debutant Spain’s Paula Badosa for a place in the last 16.
French Open semi-finalist Maria Sakkari, the 15th-seeded Greek, also went out, losing to Shelby Rogers of the United States 7-5, 6-4.
Eastbourne champion Jelena Ostapenko also survived a rollercoaster to beat Daria Kasatkina in extra time. The Russian served for the match twice but the former French Open champion came through 6-1, 3-6, 8-6.
Meanwhile, Gauff made a winning return to the stage where she won hearts as a 15-year-old in 2019, beating veteran Russian Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-3.
The 17-year-old American produced an assured performance against a former Wimbledon semi-finalist but who only returned to the circuit recently after a three year hiatus due to maternity leave.
Gauff is seeded 20 unlike two years ago when she arrived as a qualifier and reached the last 16 beating along the way five-time champion Venus Williams. Her exploits sparked ‘Coco Mania’ as she received messages of congratulations from far and wide including from America’s former First Lady Michelle Obama. She is looking to back up her maiden quarter-final appearance at a Major which she achieved at Roland Garros last month.
Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) bt Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-4, 6-3
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) bt Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) bt Marta Kostyuk (UKR) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE x14) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 7-5, 6-4
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) bt Darya Kasatkina (RUS x31) 6-1, 3-6, 8-6
Magda Linette (POL) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x3) 6-3, 6-4
Paula Badosa (ESP x30) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-4, 6-1
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x16) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-3, 6-3
Karolina Muchova (CZE x19) bt Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-3
Coco Gauff (USA x20) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-4, 6-3
Shelby Rogers (USA) bt Maria Sakkari (GRE x15) 7-5, 6-4